March 2010

Parent Zone March 2010

Potty Humor = Huge Laughs

You’re not alone if you are concerned that your child thinks that the word “underwear” is hysterical or if she thinks potty humor is funny.  Kids are masters of their own bodily functions by age 4 or 5, so they love to talk about it.  This kind of talk is taboo for adults, but kids don’t know that yet.  The fact that it’s something we all do, but it is not nice to talk about is still confusing to them.  So they manage the confusion by making jokes and laughing about it.

It’s one thing for your son to learn about bodily functions, but it’s another for him to become fixated on using potty humor.  While you may be tempted to drag out the soap and wash out his mouth, or get angry and begin to lecture, remember that you don’t want to overreact and make a bigger deal out of the use of bathroom language or else he will be more likely to use them when he wants to act out.

What can you do to curb the enthusiasm?

  • Set a limit the first time you hear an offensive word: “In our family, that’s not a word we use.” Consider this in the process: If you don’t set a limit, he’s more likely to use bathroom humor indiscriminately and to get in trouble for it at school.
  • Ignore it (because you don’t want to give it attention) and wait for it to disappear, which it will because children grow out of it.
  • Acknowledge the humor when it’s really funny but set the limit at the same time. For example, you might say, “That’s funny and I know you and your friends think it’s really silly. But it’s not good manners, those are not nice words. In our family, we use nice words and manners.”

Then again, you may just have to retrain everyone in the household, because potty humor can be pretty funny (just check out some of the cartoons your kids watch), whether you like it or not!

Other Links to Explore

How to Tame Potty Humor

Humor and Your Child

Potty Talk

7 Qualities You Need To Be a Great Parent to a Preschooler (#5—Nonchalance)

Boys and Gross Humor

CNN Interview with Dav Pilkey


Chicken Butt by Erica Pearl

Always Lots of Heinies At the Zoo by Ayun Halliday

What Color Is Your Underwear? by Sam Lloyd

Underwear: What We Wear Under There by Ruth Freeman Swan

Underwear by Mary Monsell

No! That’s Wrong! by Zhaohua Ji

Dirty Joe, the Pirate: A True Story by Bill Harley

Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freedman

I Wonder What’s Under There?: A Brief History of Underwear by Deborah Nourse Lattimore

Arthur’s Underwear by Marc Brown

Craft of the Month:  Tricked Out Trinket Box!

Tricked Out Trinket Box

Gather all kinds of empty boxes and tins, old jewelry, Mardi Gras beads, shells, ribbon, sequins, and little knick knacks.  Decorate a box for all your treasures using hot glue or tacky glue.  Now make one to give to someone special.  Get creative!

Get some ideas for gift giving by looking in our craft section!  If you need inspiration or a book to get you started, try  Gifts to Make for Your Favorite Grownup by Kathy Ross.  Click the linked book title and it will take you to our library catalog!

Check out these photos…the kids had a blast making their own tiny, tricked-out trinket boxes!

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